The end of the year is quickly approaching. I’m already working on my holiday schedules and every week seems like there’s less time to get more work done. But, once Friday finally hits, there’s always time for a cocktail… or two. And, lucky for us, Julius White, the talented Mixologist and Bar Manager over at Vie, is ready with two seasonal cocktails that he’s letting me share with you. ‘Tis the season for fall cocktails, am I right?
Julius and I recently partnered up on a seasonal cocktail project and it was an incredibly eye opening experience for me. As he shared the ingredients and some of the vintage glassware with me, it struck me that Julius has the innate ability to merge creativity and science – so thoughtful and precise – from the measurements to the temperatures and even to how he prepared each recipe.
The first cocktail was The Fennel Countdown, which Julius describes as a savory gin sour. The recipe involves using one egg white and I watched him remove it from the egg without completely separating the egg shell in half. He managed to do this with one hand too. The fennel is smoked for 90 minutes before expertly mixing with celery gin and bitters to tie everything together into a deliciously smokey, perfect-for-fall drink.
The second cocktail he made was the Bourbon’s Fall, which he had just developed a few days prior to our shoot together. It had a smokey aroma to accompany the subtle fall flavors of all spice and orange.
My favorite part, aside from tasting it, was how he captured cherrywood smoke in the glass before pouring the cocktail. I was mesmerized as I watched the smoke rise from the glass as he poured this incredible autumn treat. For Julius, it’s not just about creating a delicious drink, it’s about providing a true cocktail experience, which is why Mike and I usually belly-up to the bar when we eat at Vie.
Vie is one of Chef Paul Virant’s restaurants and is located in Western Springs, IL. If you’re visiting or living in the Chicagoland area, it’s right off the Metra stop and you should definitely stop by. The menu is constantly changing with seasonal-inspired ingredients all year long. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Disclosure: This post was in collaboration with Julius White from Vie. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you to my readers for supporting the brands and restaurants that keep Up Close & Tasty cooking and shooting.
The Fennel Countdown
2 ounces Rutte Celery Dry Gin
1 ounce fresh lemon
.75 ounce Smoked Fennel Syrup
.5 ounce North Shore Aquavit
1 egg white
8 drops Celery Bitters
1. Add all contents to a shaker.
2. Dry shake to agitate the egg white.
3. Add ice and shake again to chill.
4. Double strain into a large vintage coupe.
5. Garnish with fennel frond, cracked black pepper and angostura design.
1.5 ounces Eagle Rare Bourbon
1 ounce Averna Amaro
.5 ounce Bitter Truth All Spice Dram
.5 ounce Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
2 scoops The Bruery Or Xata “Vie Beer Jam”
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Freshly grated nutmeg
1. Add contents to a shaker and shake aggressively to incorporate beer jam with the other ingredients.
2. Strain into a decanter of your choice.
3. Start your fire of cherrywood smoke.
4. Blow out the flames and capture the smoke with an upside down rock glass.
5. Seal with a coaster that has a perfect ice cube cut resting on top of it.
6. Flip the glass and slowly pour the contents of the drink from the decanter over the ice as the smoke flows out from the glass.
7. Top with freshly grated nutmeg and an orange peel twist.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.